Tia Duffy, Ireland’s leading plus-sized model, has just been taken on by the Plutino Group in Canada, she revealed today exclusively to SHEmazing! She was signed on the spot by managing director Cathy LeDrew, the highly-respected former booker at Ford Models.
“I'm the only Irish model on the books and the agency has a few plus size models who regularly feature in magazines throughout the US and Canada,” Tia explains. “It's so fantastic to have representation from such a prestigious agency; I'm still on cloud nine.”
And the 26-year-old Dubliner has already had her first shoot with Plutino. “The styling over here is very different to Ireland,” she adds. “The shots need to be more natural with less make up.
“But the response to plus-size modelling and my look in general has been all positive so far.”
After successfully building her profile on home-soil, Tia, who is a size-14, says she’s been living out of a suitcase for the last month as she gets set up in Toronto. “It's been a struggle I'm not going lie but when I turn up on set to model I’m always reminded why I packed up and left everything to chase this dream.”
She has recently been working on location in the likes of Washington, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. She is also regularly in New York, and a plus-sized industry documentary starring Tia, Inside Skinny, begins shooting there soon.
Although she’s been involved in the industry for seven years, Tia got her first big break when she entered Simply Be’s plus-size search four years ago, beating thousands of entrants to win the competition. She’s represented by Assets in Ireland, but says in North America she’s still very much “a small fish in a big pond”.
“Most agencies and castings are in the centre of the city in a back alley somewhere that has no name or number," Tia says of finding her feet in unfamiliar areas. "I usually leave two hours before my appointments because I ALWAYS get lost,” she laughs.